LET’S BUILD: The debut EP from new Athens indie rockers Miss Destroyer, named Oh! Miss Destroyer, came out a few weeks ago. The band has been around for just over a year, but its members have been involved in the Athens music scene for several years. The three-piece group deftly surfs a nice wave of classic pop that lives somewhere in the seemingly incongruous intersection between David Bowie, ‘70s R&B and ‘80s smooth talkers like Simply Red, Crowded House and The Style Council. Occasionally, the group can become slightly long-winded and navel-gaze-y (“Acquaintance”) but for the most part has a solid handle on restrained arrangements as well as a firm grasp of melody. Highlights here include the title track, “Heaven Under Hell,” and what’s honestly the best track of the batch, “Doomsday.” This EP is available on all streaming services, including missdestroyer.bandcamp.com. Follow along with the group at facebook.com/missdestroyerband.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One of Athens’ longest-running yet slowest-moving labels has been the somewhat inscrutable and rather opaque Furlined Records. The easiest terminology would be to categorize the difficult-to-pigeonhole label as one of the forerunners in cataloging the experimental rock scene of Athens and other close municipalities. To wit, the label’s Furlined Records Compilation 2.0 was originally released in late 2009 but just landed on streaming services a few weeks back. It’s a wonderful time capsule archiving select tracks from such luminaries as Crown Vic, Untied States, Mandy Jane & The Jaws of Life, 5000, Coin Star, The Launch Codes and others. The styles here are pretty varied, but all have a sense of tunefulness and discernible constructiveness which marks them as mightily distinct from the plethora of straight-noise/free-form releases which have largely defined the Athens experimental scene since that time. Dig this the most over at furlinedrecords.bandcamp.com.
ALL FOLKS AT HOME: While many annual events are being straight-up canceled and postponed, a decent number are also going virtual, and that’s the case with the 36th Annual North Georgia Folk Festival. This year’s event will occur in a series of Saturday evening performances over the course of three weekends (Sept. 26, Oct. 3 and Oct. 10). The performances will feature the traditional music, art and storytelling that the festival is known for, and virtual tip jars will be available for viewers to contribute to the artists contributing to the programs. The T-shirt for this year is once again designed and drawn by Athens folklorist Art Rosenbaum, and it features Nancy and Charlie Hartness of the group Hawk Proof Rooster. These are limited-edition and available for pre-order now. The poster featuring the same design is coming soon, too. The performances are scheduled to broadcast on YouTube, and you can gather all other information over at athensfolk.org/festival and facebook.com/NorthGeorgiaFolkFestival.
YOU ARE NEVER ALONE: No Aloha Records of Reus, Spain, has a new tribute out to the late Vic Chesnutt, proving yet again the incredibly long reach Chesnutt’s music has had on artists and fans worldwide. The 10-song collection is simply shocking in its tenderness, reverence and delivery of inspired versions of these Vic classics. I’ll be the first to say I’m rarely a fan of tribute records, as they quite often seek only to amplify the careerist tendencies of the participants and generally impart no new perspective on the originals. This collection, though, hits high on all points and by any reasonable standard is exactly what a tribute record should be. While the entire collection is wonderful, the tracks particularly resonant to me are Algunos Hombres doing “Supernatural,” Salto playing “When I Ran Off and Left Her,” Islandia Nunca Quema performing “Where Were You?” and El Osombroso Folk de los Badlands playing “Flirted With You All My Life.” This is available as a 300-copy limited-edition LP and can be ordered, as well as streamed, over at noaloharecords.bandcamp.com.
DRIVE ON UP: At long last and not without an astounding amount of work, the Athens Amphitheater is hosting its inaugural concert Friday, Sept. 25. The venue, located at 200 Boley Drive off Commerce Road, was distinguished during its development phase as an enormously ambitious undertaking due to its size, and congratulations should be in store for all those who brought it to fruition. This inaugural show is a drive-in concert featuring country music long-hauler Travis Tritt, as well as Ashley McBryde and Caylee Hammack. Due to social-distancing limitations and regulations, there is a very specific set of procedures and vehicle-size limitations. Admission prices are per vehicle and, depending on which zone you choose, will run $200, $250 or $350. Each vehicle is allowed a maximum of six people. Tickets are available now at freshtix.com, and you can learn more about the specifics over at bit.ly/AthensAmpDriveInFAQs.
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